Many of us already have made a commitment to volunteering. We’ve seen the positive influence we can have on the lives of those around us. We’re eager to chip in when it means our friends and neighbors benefit.
To take volunteering to the next level – consider recruiting your family to assist you in giving back. Not only will you benefit from having additional hands and feet to put to work, you’ll also enjoy the camaraderie and lasting memories you’ll share.
You might begin the conversation over dinner. Start by explaining all of the great things you’ve seen happen as a result of volunteering in the past year, and share how you’d like to identify a project you can work on as a family.
From there, direct the conversation into specific activities or focus areas you could do as a group. If you all are good at a specific task such as planning and hosting events, perhaps you’ll choose to initiate a clothing or book drive in cooperation with a local nonprofit. More likely, each member of your family has a unique skill set. Identify each family member’s core strengths—organization, planning, decorating, record-keeping and beyond—and figure out how each of you can plug into a local organization or activity that could benefit from those abilities.
Try volunteering on a single day to get started. After your day has ended, meet for another common meal and share your experiences. What went well? What tangible benefits will come from your volunteering? What could you do differently to make an even bigger impact in the future?
Don’t forget that you can get older family members involved too! Seniors see incredible benefits from volunteering. According to research done by AmeriCorps, “Older Americans who volunteer frequently live longer and report less disability.” Learn more about benefits and find great ideas for senior volunteering from Sixty and Me’s article, “How You Can Volunteer as an Older Adult.”
Next time, you can start volunteering on a more regular basis, whether monthly, twice per month or another schedule that works for you. There’s no end to the good you can do as a team.